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So you want to open a butchery? Here’s what you need to make it happen


Butcheries have become qite common in Kenya, driven by a growing demand for meat. Despite their popularity, there is still money to be made. Heres how ot get a slice of the action as told by those in business.

What you’ll need

1. Capital

Like with any other business, you’ll need some money to set up a butchery. According to Paul Mwangi, the owner and proprietor of Kwality Hotel & Butchery, for a basic outlet, you will need a minimum of Sh50,000.

“Going by how you want your premises to look like when starting, make sure you have enough money to cater for the basic needs of your business. At least make sure you have Sh50,000 when starting,” he says.

To get off the ground, Timothy Rotich of Tim’s Meat Point says your business just needs a meat cabinet, cutting block and butchers’ knives. You can get away with not having a freezer if you minimise your stock to just what customers demand.

2. Good location

The location of a butchery matters a lot, and this will in part be dictated by the type of meat you want to sell. There are areas that are predominantly inhabited by people who don’t consume certain types of meat. Also, make sure you are near a large pool of customers, and have access to sufficient water and power to minimise losses from spoilage.

Frank Anatwa, who runs a butchery in Nairobi’s South B estate, says in the right location, a small outlet can bring in Sh20,000 a day.

3. Operating licences

You will require business, food handling and fire safety certificates from county authorities. This will cost you a minimum of Sh26,000.

4. A trusted supplier

You will need to identify an abattoir to be buying meat for resale from. Mwangi says you must ensure the places you work with are certified and stick to strict hygiene standards to protect your customers. Ensure you own or can hire good transport to keep the meat fresh when it’s in transit.


What you don’t need

1. A variety of meats

A butchery can stock all sorts of meat, but if you’re just starting out, you don’t need to give customers a whole lot of variety. Go with the most popular meats, including beef and chicken, and slowly build up the options as the business grows.

2. Employees

A butchery business can be staffed by just the owner. Guchu Mbuthia, who runs Nyama Safi Butchery, adds that you can hire a casual labourer to help out with chores.

The expert

 Paul Mwangi, owner, Kwality Hotel and Butchery

“Above everything else, you are the biggest asset to your business. You need to be attentive to the details if you want to succeed. Spend time understanding the various business dynamics and you will have no regrets.”

Your Social Strategy

Word of mouth:

According to Timothy Rotich, the owner of Tim’s Meat Point, quality products, great service and good customer relations are the best social strategy you will ever need if you do open a butchery. Just make sure what you sell is fresh and build good relationships with your customers. The referrals you get will keep you in business.

On Facebook and Instagram:

Social media offers a lot of free space to advertise your business. Identify your customers and update your Facebook and Instagram pages regularly with the discounts on offer at your outlet. You can also post videos of your skils in chopping meat or post regular links on meat safety to drive content.

On Pinterest:

Use this platform to post meat recipes and link these posts to your other social media accounts to popularise your butchery. You don’t have to come up with original recipes, but do propose ingredients that are available locally.


[Elly Gitau]

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